Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×
GUI OS X

Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday 370

HughPickens.com writes Erik Karjaluoto writes that he recently installed OS X Yosemite and his initial reaction was "This got hit by the ugly stick." But Karjaluoto says that Apple's decision to make a wholesale shift from Lucida to Helvetica defies his expectations and wondered why Apple would make a change that impedes legibility, requires more screen space, and makes the GUI appear fuzzy? The Answer: Tomorrow.

Microsoft's approach with Windows, and backward compatibility in general, is commendable. "Users can install new versions of this OS on old machines, sometimes built on a mishmash of components, and still have it work well. This is a remarkable feat of engineering. It also comes with limitations — as it forces Microsoft to operate in the past." But Apple doesn't share this focus on interoperability or legacy. "They restrict hardware options, so they can build around a smaller number of specs. Old hardware is often left behind (turn on a first-generation iPad, and witness the sluggishness). Meanwhile, dying conventions are proactively euthanized," says Karjaluoto. "When Macs no longer shipped with floppy drives, many felt baffled. This same experience occurred when a disk (CD/DVD) reader no longer came standard." In spite of the grumblings of many, Karjaluoto doesn't recall many such changes that we didn't later look upon as the right choice.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

Comments Filter:
  • I don't follow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dos1 ( 2950945 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @09:26AM (#48180021)

    So what's so "tomorrow" about change from Lucida to Helvetica, which impedes legibility, requires more screen space, and makes the GUI appear fuzzy? Is that the definition of "tomorrow" now?

    • Re: I don't follow (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      5K screens

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        5K screens

        Thank god OS X never built-in support for user-selectable visual themes! Well ... except for that awesome-sauce "Dark Theme" that lets users be so tomorrow that they're into next week.

        Absolute total BS is still absolute total BS and this shite should never have made it past the firehose.

      • Re: I don't follow (Score:4, Informative)

        by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @04:51PM (#48181875)

        5K screens

        ... which are a ridiculous extravagance.

        Apple's current 5k screens are way too small. A 27" display properly goes at the opposite side of your desk, but it only takes about half that distance for pixels at this density to be, practically speaking, invisible.

        A 5k screen should be at least 32", and even that is pressing it. I'd say 36".

        I'm currently running 2 WUXGA monitors, giving me 3840 x 1200, at the far side of my desk. This is about the ideal placement, and while the pixels aren't quite invisible, they are small enough (for me) as makes no difference.

        A 5k screen at 27" is, in my opinion, a huge waste of money.

    • Yeah, it's an euphemism for "change for change's sake".

    • Perhaps "tomorrow" means that Apple has done internal tests to show Helvetica as more legible than Lucida on its Retina brand displays. We've come a long way since 1984 when Apple made 72 dpi the standard, and the iMac ships with a Retina display now.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        One of the linked articles says:

        Lucida Grande presents open apertures, inviting the eye to move along sideways through the text. It has worked really well--for years, and for good reason. For any text, but particularly in interfaces, our eyes need typefaces that cooperate rather than resist. A super-sharp Retina Display might help, but the real issue is the human eye, and I haven’t heard of any upgrades on the way.

      • When the Retina enhanced redesign of iOS was released (iOS 7), the majority of products being sold had Retina displays. Now, only two very high end models of their Macs have Retina displays. Really, they should have waited until they had "mainstream" Retina Macs before changing the fonts, like they did with the iPhone and iPads.
        • by BronsCon ( 927697 ) <social@bronstrup.com> on Sunday October 19, 2014 @11:42AM (#48180671) Journal
          This is just another sight that I was correct when I said that Apple computers are poised to become accessories for Apple's iOS devices, rather than the other way around. Apple, clearly, now caters to two groups: iOS device users (who will also be the biggest spenders on apps and media) and creatives. I don't see a problem with this, from a business standpoint it, as it makes perfect sense; I do see a problem from it from the standpoint of software developer and Apple user who loves his 17" MacBook Pro and wishes they'd once again target his demographic.

          Creatives will naturally gravitate to the best available displays, which means either the retina-class iMac or MBP, or the Mac Pro and whatever their display of choice happens to be, and Apple definitely has them covered. Helvetica looks just fine on retina displays (honestly, I think it looks just fine @ 1200p on a 17" display, too), so these users won't be likely to complain.

          They sell the most expensive hardware to the group least likely to buy a lot of apps and media from Apple, and I agree, that's the way to go. Users of iOS devices have voiced that they want the look and feel of their iPhone, iPod, and iPad everywhere they can possibly get it. Well, those use Helvetica, they also use flat neutrals, transparency, and blur. Apple catered to those users, who are likely to buy the cheaper computer and spend more on apps and media, without a second thought.

          If you're not in those two categories or, at least, don't follow either of those spending patterns, I won't say Apple doesn't care about you at all; they certainly care about anyone who wants to give them money, just just don't care enough to give a shit what you want.

          Again, I fully agree with this from a business perspective. Unfortunately, I have my own business, which comes with its own perspective, and if that's the view Apple wants to take, it's sadly incompatible with reality for a lot of professional users. It really saddens me, as they were making strides toward developing a huge presence in professional fields before Jobs passed; that has not only slowed, but reversed, since then. It doesn't seem to be hurting their sales, yet, but I imagine it will when they start making more obviously negative changes to OSX's UI. They'll still sell to iOS users and creatives, and they'll probably remain the college student's PC of choice; but, by crapifying the interface (observation of others in this thread, which I've already stated I don't necessarily agree with -- but, me vs them, they're the majority, so I'm using their opinion for my point) on lower-end-but-still-current hardware, which the mass market is more likely to be able to afford when they choose to buy Apple, they're removing much of the allure of their platform. This can't be a good thing.
    • Re:I don't follow (Score:4, Informative)

      by Savage-Rabbit ( 308260 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @09:33AM (#48180051)

      So what's so "tomorrow" about change from Lucida to Helvetica, which impedes legibility, requires more screen space, and makes the GUI appear fuzzy? Is that the definition of "tomorrow" now?

      More to the point how does changing from Lucida to Helvetica impede legibility, require more screen space, and make the GUI appear fuzzy? I can't say that I have noticed any of these world ending problems in decades of using the Helvetica font.

      • Re:I don't follow (Score:5, Informative)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo@worl d 3 . net> on Sunday October 19, 2014 @10:11AM (#48180233) Homepage

        Helvetica is print font, not a screen font. It isn't optimized for pixel displays, and even on fairly high DPI displays does not look a nice as fonts optimized for them. Screen fonts take account of the pixel grid and get hand optimized to look good on them.

        Apple is clearly hoping that they have a high end DPI that can overcome these problems, but it doesn't appear they have. The 5k display is only around 200 DPI, and Helvetica tends to look a bit naff below about 600 DPI at small sizes. Of course it's a little more complicated because they have sub pixel rendering, but it only affects horizontal resolution and not vertical resolution. To counter this they have made the fonts a little larger, but of course that means everything takes up more space on screen.

        Everyone else uses screen fonts. Bitstream derived fonts for Linux and Android. Microsoft has Segoe and Meiryo, designed specially for them. Some phones have reached the point where Helvetica will look good, around 450-500 DPI, although the iPhone 6 Plus is only around 400 DPI.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I have a mac with retina. To me, the font change was like 'ohh, the font looks different'. Its not worse, or better - just different. I can still program fine. And I prefer the new font now.

          Seems like adults are so much like children now, they complain about everything. We don't have real problems anymore so so have to invent them.

    • by Tyr07 ( 2300912 )

      Designing for tomorrow doesn't mean when tomorrow comes, your design won't be shit.

    • You get to have a crappy experience today and a better experience "tomorrow". Welcome to the bleeding^Wblurry edge of technology.

    • Re:I don't follow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 19, 2014 @09:51AM (#48180117)

      It is a standard "apologist" tactic. Sort of like an appeal to authority, but one that assumes the authority knows more than you do.

      In the future, impeding legibility, requiring more screen space, and making the GUI look fuzzy are just as bad as they are today. However, this author is indicating that eventually such things will become less needed, and we'll learn to live without them, and they fit the same pattern as Apple's abandoment of hardware that was really showing its age.

      Except that this is not hardware. Fonts are just as functional as they were two hundred years ago. They haven't outlived their usefulness.

      Perhaps high density pixel screens will fix the fuzziness, but it won't fix the footprint (unless Apple's font management is totally pixel based, which would be stupid, and I don't think Apple is stupid). But even then, if Apple released a poorly legible desktop on a high res display, it still would be poorly legible.

      So you come back to the main point of this article. "Apple knew better back then"; ahem.... actually everyone knew better back then, floppies were used by about 8% of all the computer users when Apple finally ditched them. "and so Apple will know better now"; ahem... if only we were sure that past performance was a reliable indicator of future performance. "And we should trust Apple because they know more than us"; ahem... ok, so we've gotten to the real argument here.

    • So what's so "tomorrow" about change from Lucida to Helvetica, which impedes legibility, requires more screen space, and makes the GUI appear fuzzy? Is that the definition of "tomorrow" now?

      Yes. By this logic, we're but one illogical decision away from Comic Sans being default.

      (Yeah, I know, I just threw up in my mouth a little too.)

      On top of the fact that Steve Jobs is likely rolling in his grave. The man had a flair for aesthetics that seem to be dying in the face of "futurethink".

    • Bauhaus (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sphealey ( 2855 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @11:39AM (#48180653)

      Highly accomplished designers tend to fall in love with and become obsessed by Bauhaus style in its various cyclical incarnations. The remaining 99.999% of the human race finds Bauhaus objects and systems very pretty to look and impossible to use for more than a few days, as documented by Jane Jacobs, William White, Tom Wolf, and many others. The designers believe the rest of the critics are blind and the human race is just using their wonderful Bauhaus stuff wrong.

      sPh

    • I'm sure that Apple knows what is best for our future and I intend to make these changes at work as soon as possible.

    • So what's so "tomorrow" about change from Lucida to Helvetica, which impedes legibility, requires more screen space, and makes the GUI appear fuzzy? Is that the definition of "tomorrow" now?

      Tomorrow, you will be one day older than today. Enough tomorrows and your eyesight will probably fade to the point where text on a computer monitor appears fuzzy. By making the font fuzzy today, Apple is providing their users with a taste of tomorrow. Next, Apple will probably shrink the keyboard to the point that accuracy suffers, as it inevitably does with old age.

  • Nonsense (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Carewolf ( 581105 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @09:30AM (#48180035) Homepage

    The distortion is strong in that one. And now he must excuse his earlier brief glimses of reality.

    Btw. Helvetica is a classic font that is more narrow and easier to read than Lucida especially on print, on a screen it is best with good hinting, which Apple's fontsystem doesn't do.

    • Re:Nonsense (Score:5, Funny)

      by Chelloveck ( 14643 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @10:26AM (#48180295) Homepage

      The distortion is strong in that one. And now he must excuse his earlier brief glimses of reality.

      This. Just the case of a fan trying to justify a questionable decision. UI has become a fashion show. Helvetica is this year's hem length. Flat, primary colors are in, and they're simply FABulous! None of the changes have anything to do with usability. It's all change for the sake of change, nothing more. It's the same reason dresses and cars change their outward appearance from year to year, regardless of any substantive changes. It's done to make you think, wow, this is new, I MUST HAVE.

      (Full disclaimer: I'm a sucker for upgrades. I always need to have the latest version of any software, regardless of whether or not it's actually better. Call it an OCD-ish mental disorder. I installed Yosemite yesterday, but unlike the author of the post I don't feel the need to justify Apple's fashion sense.)

  • by BenJeremy ( 181303 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @09:31AM (#48180041)

    Ugh... when Microsoft throws out the old to make with the new, however stupid and ill-advised it really is, they justifiably get lambasted for it.

    When Apple does it, they are "designing for tomorrow"

    Um, ok, sure. Whatever. Ignoring good user interface design is still bad.

    • I think most people agree Windows 8 UI was a mess, it was a confusing mix up of desktop and tablet UI. It was more one foot in the future and one foot in the past.
  • by Bomarc ( 306716 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @09:33AM (#48180049) Homepage
    Though I'm not a bit fan of MS... They continually have shown that they have no problem leaving old architecture in the dust -- when it suits them. When 2K3 came out, they made a "code optimization" change that left all P1, P2, P-Pro multi-processors behind. Few of their drivers are compatible from one version of an OS to another (and they can be digitally signed to one version). MS has not problem leaving "old" tech in the dust.

    Because Mac chose a bad font .. don't attack MS.
    • I'm not disagreeing with you in principle; but, the driver signing issue isn't Microsoft's. It's the hardware vendor's fault. Microsoft's generic drivers come with the OS they're written for.
  • by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @09:40AM (#48180077)
    Whatever. Ubuntu Unity seems to be the only cool-looking UI left.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Troll score: 0/10.

      • Suits me perfectly, as I wasn't trolling. Unity is the only one that offers a nice amount of eye candy and hasn't gone with a simplified flat look.
    • Ubuntu Unity seems to be the only cool-looking UI left.

      I can't say it's not cool looking. As long as all you have to do is look at it, you're set.

      My 2c on the topic. Apple knows what to do, the objective is not to make the best looking hi res desktop, it is to make the lower res desktop look like sh1t. Marketing 101.

  • I'm on an macbook air with the new Helvetica font. It looks crisp and clear and I was totally lovin' it when this popped up on my RSS feed. Any application I use that requires study of small text, such as code editor or word processor, typically supports more than the default system font.
  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @10:08AM (#48180217)

    ... Karjaluoto doesn't recall many such changes that we didn't later look upon as the right choice....

    The opinion of whether or not it was the right choice is severely clouded by the fact that in the Apple environment, there is No Choice. The user Has To go along with what Apple decides is The Future.

    .
    Apple has built the walls so high around its empire, that few dare leave. Therefore, they must rationalize that whatever Apple decides for the future is The Right Choice.

    • by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @12:14PM (#48180865)

      The opinion of whether or not it was the right choice is severely clouded by the fact that in the Apple environment, there is No Choice. The user Has To go along with what Apple decides is The Future.

      Precisely. Even when Apple's decisions are good, they generally end up inconveniencing a bunch of users for quite some time. I built my current desktop last year, and it's the first machine I built with no floppy drive. But I darn well still have a CD/DVD reader/writer, which is useful periodically. Do I use it everyday? No. Could I get along without it? Yeah. But once every few months I have a task where it's still a useful thing to have around.

      The main reason I refuse to buy Apple computers is because of lack of choice. I understand that by locking their users into a smaller set of choices, they make it easier to support. But I often want better options for my particular uses. So even if Apple offered a machine that is exactly what I want (probably at a price premium), I still wouldn't buy it -- because I don't want to support that kind of fascist approach to hardware, software, apps, etc. (And yeah, that's a strong word, but I truly believe it's a potentially dangerous development for free use of computers if everyone were to adopt it.)

      Apple has built the walls so high around its empire, that few dare leave. Therefore, they must rationalize that whatever Apple decides for the future is The Right Choice.

      Yes, all this justifying of "they ultimately saw what was best for the future" sounds like so many big companies' rhetoric. Google is notorious for this too in recent years, breaking their search for power users so it's only useful to people who can't spell or don't actually know the right word for what they're looking for. (Yes, Google -- I did actually ONLY want results with those particular obscure words in them.)

      That's not so much about "the future," I suppose, but the infamous Gmail redesigns are. I don't know and don't really care whether Google employees only use emails as equivalents to IM chats or whatever. I need to send emails every day that require me to do things like alter recipients, change subject lines, cc or bcc people, etc. -- and now I'm forced to do 2-4 extra clicks just to get what was there before. As someone who joined the Gmail beta via invitation very early, I almost abandoned Gmail completely last year -- until the unauthorized browser plugins came that basically allowed a reversion.

      Maybe email will become obsolete or turn into text messages in a decade or so. But that isn't true in most places now, and I don't appreciate the current giant corporation attitude of "we're going to make random changes to 'simplify' our user experience. But if it makes your life a lot harder, too bad." It's not just an Apple thing.

      All of that said, I don't really get what the big deal about a TYPEFACE change is. Resolutions are good enough now that legibility will be fine for just about any decent typeface. There's nothing "futuristic" about Helvetica or any other. Frankly, it's just some random change to UI that makes something look "new and improved" to differentiate from old, even if the actual changes "under the hood" are less pronounced.

  • wtf (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Is this post really just an ad for apple?
  • by Dr. Spork ( 142693 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @10:13AM (#48180243)
    I don't often use OSX, but I'm a little mortified that the system font is dictated by the whims of Apple, instead of being selectable by the user. When I install Windows, one of the first things I do is to change the system fonts. In KDE I used to, but now I'm happy with the defaults. But it never occurred to me that there might be a modern OS that doesn't give you this option!
    • The system font option will be with a quick utility that programmers have no doubt already put together for users that will want it.

      Personally, I don't care as I don't work & live in the system font.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Legibility and usability is no longer of importance. Their focus group isn't working professional any longer, its fashion sensible teens and facebookers. When you throw away usability of an item to make it look "cooler" it's no longer good design, it fashion and fashion never lasts.

    IOs has required to have many of the usability "helpers", meant for people with disabilitys, turned ON for average users for some time now... and many of them hardly makes any difference. Sandboxing from hell makes several develo

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @10:20AM (#48180269) Homepage
    Apple doesnt design for the past or the future, or even the present. Apple products are designed using focus groups and industrial engineering teams. once the nuts and bolts are completed, apple checks current fashion and design trends as set by the industry (Pantone for example sets your "favourite" color or scheme for the year) and conforms as necessary. Then, the largest marketing firms in the world polls their focus groups and create a multi million dollar campaign rivalling anything seen at even the american political level. The product is advertised on television, internet, billboards, and subtly through product placement in your favourite television shows until it becomes an icon or status symbol. Finally, a handheld computer that costs around $50 to make is sold to the general public for upwards of $300 as dictated by the finance team, with futher successors of the product priced more competitively as deemed necessary.

    arguably consumer driven development or manufacturing as its told in the fairytale of the free market has been dead for 50 years or more. Its eulogy was trumpeted by Jimmy carter in his malaise speech as he committed political suicide by telling americans that buying endless amounts of more goods and services was simply contributing to misery. Frankly, you buy what you're told to buy due to a combination of manipuative social psychology and indoctrinative marketing. No one really needs a lexus or the latest iphone.
  • I didn't read any comments here about the common situation when Apple removes features from its "yesterday" software in new versions of its "tomorrow" software then scrambles to restore some of those features because of user complaints.

    I'm not a Mac user so I don't know if it's possible, but it would be good if Apple made it easy for users to select an OS font best suited to their needs. If one has an older 21 inch iMac and maybe poor eyesight, then maybe some other font, neither Lucida nor Helvetica, wo
  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @10:41AM (#48180351)
    Both Apple [wikipedia.org] and Microsoft [wikipedia.org] have been using ripoffs of Helvetica for decades as their default font. That was what all the cool kids did back in the 1980s - if you didn't want to pay for a font, you paid some graphics artist to design one which looked a lot like it but was slightly different. Adobe bought licenses for the real fonts, and if you were in the printing industry and needed the real Helvetica you could buy Adobe Type Manager [wikipedia.org] (originally for Mac, later for WIndows).

    All this announcement means is that Apple has finally decided to pay whomever has the copyright on Helvetica for the rights to use it as their default system font. The bit about "tomorrow" is just marketing spin to make it sound like some awesome new thing, when the font itself was made in 1957.

    And yes Apple abandons old tech and adopts new tech sooner than the rest of the industry meaning they're often at the forefront of tech which later becomes commonplace among PCs. You can cherry pick some of their successes (e.g. 3.5" floppy, abandoning optical drives) to make them seem brilliant. Or you could list some of their failures (e.g. firewire, lightning thus far, SCSI on the desktop, PowerPC which they abandoned for Intel) to make them seem like bumbling idiots. Apple isn't a prognosticator. They're making guesses about the future just like everyone else. For some reason people are less likely to remember their failures than with other companies.
  • Hockey puck mouse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rick Zeman ( 15628 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @10:51AM (#48180413)

    Karjaluoto doesn't recall many such changes that we didn't later look upon as the right choice.

    He must have never tried to use the hockey puck USB mouse. Truly a case of form over function....

    • People always mention that mouse... but fail to mention that the original iMac's keyboard was also utter shit. I mean $5 Chinese no-brand awful. Particularly sad when you remember how good their old Extended II was.

  • In spite of the grumblings of many, Karjaluoto doesn't recall many such changes that we didn't later look upon as the right choice.

    Or rather, the famous reality distortion field later convinced Apple customer's that Apple must have been right all along. Because otherwise they'd have to admit that they'd been had, and no one wants to do that.

    People who have paid a high price to enter a group tend to value that group [psychwiki.com], and people who are part of a group tend to conform to that group's judgments [spring.org.uk]. It's terri

  • by peppepz ( 1311345 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @11:00AM (#48180437)
    This has to be the biggest piece of Apple adulation that I've ever seen. A practice of flattery over everything Apple do is always superabundant in most of the output of the American tech press: we're used, for instance, to the reviewers' pirouettes when they first dismiss some bad choice by Apple as irrelevant, and then they have to praise the reversal of that choice as the best thing after sliced bread in some later version of an Apple product.

    But in this case, well, Apple does something wrong (not even remotely comparable to the trainwreck that Microsoft did with Metro, I'll concede) that devalues the largest part of its already expensive product line, with the exception of the most expensive products, and without adding any value to those either, but Apple fan are happy nonetheless because... it's good to be shown how Apple does not care about who doesn't spend the most?

    What is this, an exercise of asceticism in the path of the true Apple worship?

  • by goarilla ( 908067 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @11:06AM (#48180453)
    What really bothers me though is the removal of old SMB support (I don't know if it was Mavericks or ML) and now
    the removal of the ipfw firewall. I had just gotten around to learning that and setting up a Launchctl plist.
    The fact that the green button now fullscreens an application is another change I don't like.
    • The fact that the green button now fullscreens an application is another change I don't like.

      Recent versions of BetterTouchTools can reverse this 'new and improved' behavior.

      Here's my rant:
      That change really pisses me off. I know I can hold the option-key down and it will still zoom, but the green-button zoomed since at least Snow Leopard so why change it now? More importantly, why make it default without any way to change it back.
      Does anyone even use full-screen apps? Will reclaiming a few dozen pixels

      • Re:Yosemite (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Aristos Mazer ( 181252 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @12:12PM (#48180851)

        >Does anyone even use full-screen apps?

        Yes... on laptops. This is something I've observed watching my own customers work with software -- on desktop machines, few things are truly maximized. On laptops, nearly everything is maximized. I think it has to do with screen real estate. The more you have, the less likely you are to want to fill the whole thing with one window.

        Making the green button work to maximize is probably the right choice for the smaller devices. If they want a consistent UI across all devices, that's the right call given the prevalence of smaller devices.

        It makes the behavior match MS Windows... I doubt Apple considered this a plus, but I work back and forth across both OSes regularly, and that's one of the few kinks that has caught me.

        > At least Apple should put a toggle in system preferences so the user can revert the behavior.

        Yes, that would be nice. I agree. But that is explicitly what Apple does not do and what they generally consider to be A Bad Idea. Such toggles lead to low-use code paths in the OS, which means they don't get nearly the same amount of testing and they increase the complexity of the underlying software, increasing the risk of bugs in both settings. I've encountered that philosophy in many companies with large scale software -- better to leave out the option and give people something that you know works rather than put in the option and increase your bug risk.

        Question: Does anyone know of actual studies done to demonstrate validity of such philosophy? I've heard it described many times, but I don't think I've ever heard any research into it.

    • ipfw's been gone for a while ... but they've made a lot of other stupid choices that might be good for general users, but make things a pain when you're administering lots of machines.

      For instance, pushing all updates via the iTunes store; we have a centralized account that we put everything under ... so an iWorks update comes along, and sysadmins have to go and enter the password on each machine.

      The 'server' package under the App store to get the server OS ... WTF? For apache, the config files are absolut

  • why Apple would make a change that impedes legibility, requires more screen space, and makes the GUI appear fuzzy?

    You're viewing it wrong.

  • Headline Tweak (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ancarett ( 221103 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @11:19AM (#48180517)
    Apple Changes System Font, Degrading Onscreen Readability

    There, fixed that wonky headline for you. I suspect you were posting with the new OS X Yosemite and just couldn't read what you were typing?
  • by Jeremi ( 14640 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @11:20AM (#48180535) Homepage

    What really causes my eyes to bleed is the new "flat" buttons that don't really look like buttons; they look like text labels. The top of every window now looks like someone gave a junior high student a screenshot of a Mavericks window and told him to reproduce it using construction paper, scissors and glue.

    And the frosted-glass semi-transparency effects are just a pointless and unnecessary in Yosemite as they were in Windows. I get the feeling that the Apple UI team has run out of useful work to do, and now they are just changing things because they're bored. The next OS/X release will no doubt change them back, and then add in some other dubious changes that be reverted in the release after that.

  • vi is my shepherd. I shall not font.

    • by Whibla ( 210729 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @01:11PM (#48181141)

      vi is my shepherd. I shall not font.

      It soothes my tired eyes
      On screens of green; It speaks to me
      In the quiet of the night

      My code it doth record again
      And me to type doth make
      Within the paths of recursive loops
      E’en for the program’s sake

      Yea, though I work in a cubicle
      Yet will I not use emacs
      For vi is with me, and its colon
      Efficiency it does not lack

      My console it empowers me
      In the presence of my foes
      PHBs and HR drones
      The source of all my woes

      With Mountain Dew and salty snack
      I can code, and sigh
      How happy can one programmer be
      As long as he uses vi :wq

  • by OldSport ( 2677879 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @11:26AM (#48180577)

    Exactly. Apple designs for the very near future, as in, when you download their new OMFG FREE operating system, you're going to need to upgrade your hardware in the very near future.

  • by SoftwareArtist ( 1472499 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @02:15PM (#48181363)

    Example: a few releases ago they made scrollbars thinner (making them harder to click), and also made them disappear by default. All this to "free up the space" that was being "wasted" by scrollbars. Now in Yosemite they're getting rid of window title bars in many apps, making it harder to move windows around. This is for the same reason: to free up space being used by title bars.

    My computer has a 24" screen. The space taken up by scrollbars and window titles is completely insignificant. The inconvenience caused by not having them is very significant. This is a design decision that might have been justifiable 15 years ago when a 17" monitor was considered large, but today is completely absurd.

  • Future *purchases* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @05:40PM (#48182083) Homepage Journal

    Apple does not design "for the future". They design for future purchases.

    They drop support for older hardware to force you to upgrade, not because there is a technical problem mandating it.

    I'm running Debian on a 12 year old box. It's had a CPU upgrade (to a whopping 3.8 GHz single core) and some extra RAM installed (4G total.) It's perfectly usable, and fully patched.

    Had I bought a Mac, I'd have an unsupported paperweight years ago.

RAM wasn't built in a day.

Working...